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UK a Hotbed of Female Genital Mutilation

Model Waris Dirie says abusive procedure allowed because of racism
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2012 9:28 AM CDT
UK a Hotbed of Female Genital Mutilation
Somali-born supermodel Waris Dirie reacts after she received the Knight of the Legion Honor award for her work as a critic of female genital mutilation, in Paris, Thursday, July 12, 2007.   (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

(Newser) – Female genital mutilation is illegal in Great Britain, but as many as 100,000 women have undergone the procedure there, according to an investigation by the Sunday Times. What's more, the inquiry unveiled doctors, alternative medicine practitioners, and even dentists willing to perform the procedure on children as young as 10, according to the Guardian—despite carrying a 14-year prison sentence.

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The London police alone have received 166 reports of females who feared they were at risk of FGM; however, no one has ever been prosecuted for it in the UK, and only two doctors have been removed from Britain's General Medical Council since 1980. "If a white girl is abused, the police come break down the door," said Somalia-born model Waris Dirie, who underwent FGM as a child and today is an outspoken advocate against the practice. "If a black girl is mutilated, nobody takes care of her. This is what I call racism." (Read more female genital mutilation stories.)

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